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Report: Banning Kickoffs In College Football Has Been Discussed

Alabama Kickoff

Is the kickoff soon to be extinct?

The American Football Coaches Association's board of trustees and the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee have engaged in "preliminary" discussions about the possibility of banning kickoffs in college football, according to CBSSports' Dennis Dodd

Per Dodd, the reason for these conversations is a simple one: player safety. 

Both entities are reviewing injury data to gauge the impact of kickoffs. Preliminary indications are that injuries occur at a higher rate on kickoffs, according to sources.

Any rules change probably won't come until after the 2017 season. Eliminating kickoffs has not yet been a discussion for the NCAA rules committee, according to its secretary-rules editor Rogers Redding.

However, rules changes typically bubble up to the committee from coaches and administrators. The AFCA acts in an advisory role to the NCAA rules committee. The oversight committee vets any changes by the rules committee before approving them.

The NFL and NCAA have both moved kickoffs up to the 35-yard line in recent years, increasing the number of touchbacks. The NFL also moved the touchback to the 25-yard line this off-season, a rule which is designed to discourage kickoff returns and has increased speculation that thekickoff will eventually be eliminated at the professional level. 

In 2010, Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand was paralyzed from the neck down after injuring his neck covering a kickoff against Army. Back in 2007, three NFL players suffered spinal fractures on kickoffs in a four-week span.